ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Political Mobilisation and Ethnicity among Adi-Dravidas in a Bombay Slum

Then, at 49, while he was operating, and had been in the surgery contin- uously for 67 hours, a shell burst nearby. His scalpel cut his hand slightly, and after a few days he realised he was hit by Septicemea. With no drugs, it was a matter of a few days, he knew, before he would die. He wrote his farewell letter to General Nieh. Then he passed away. A battlefront cry now became, "Down with invaders! Remember Or Bethune. Long live free China. Remember 0r Bethune". As he lay dying, his colleagues had said, "Not in all China. No comrades, not in all the world will there be enough tears." "Bethune was a man who achieved painful consciousness of his weaknesses, but instead of succumbing to them he reached greatness in vanquishing them. Thus, he turned...the revolutionary for whom life was comradeship with the people, a few handfuls of millet per day, and surgery performed in the midst of bloody and now famous battles. He found his final, indestructible strength in his vast dream of remaking the world." The book needs no recommendation. But the question of "taking medicine to the people" needs vastly more than recommendation. Is there a relevance in the Bethune story for us in the medical colleges and the profession? We have debates on TV on the 'brain drain' of doctors to the West, even as those who stay behind look upon their profession as a 'moneyspinner', stick to the cities, and live splendidly on the steadily declining health of the community. Doctors are not primarily dealers' but 'professionals' who trade in their expertise and therefore go only where there is monetary demand and charge what the market will bear! Be- thune's story would question the very bases of such practice.

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